South West Acute Hospital

RPS was appointed as fire engineering consultant on this 380-bed acute hospital. The £267 million project provided all single rooms with en-suite facilities along with an A&E department, laboratory services, inpatient services (including critical care, major and emergency surgery, paediatrics, obstetrics and gynaecology) as well as outpatient services.

The development also included provision for key worker’s accommodation and a two-deck car park. The design of the facility was progressed based on guidance contained in the Health Technical Memorandum (HTM) suite of documents with fire engineering approaches adopted to justify departures from the standard fire safety solutions presented in HTM.

Key details

Project name
South West Acute Hospital

FCC Infrastructure and Interserve


Enniskillen, Northern Ireland

Services provided

  • Fire engineering


In terms of fire safety, the strategy for the hospital was based on the “Hospital Street” concept. The street runs for the full length of the building, broken up by a central atrium space and acts as a primary means of escape from the building in the event of a fire and also serves as a protected mustering point for the fire brigade. The design included a number of departures from standard guidance and fine engineering techniques were adopted to address these departures, including: smoke control provisions in the atrium; firefighting facilities; compartmentation and sub-compartmentation proposals; and extensions in travel distance.

South West Acute Hospital - project image.jpg


The atrium space provides an arrival point for visitors to the hospital and includes a range of hospital services including the main reception and a number of retail outlets and cafes. The hospital street runs through the atrium space at high level and is open to the accommodation below. To ensure that the hospital street effectively retained its function as a primary escape route Computational Fluid Dynamic (CFD) was used to consider a range of fire scenarios within the atrium to determine if they would have any detrimental impact on means of escape in the event of an emergency evacuation. The solution was presented to the statutory authorities who accepted the approach proposed without the need for any revision to the planning of the building layout.

Project statistics

project value.
bed spaces provided.

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